“Hope” by John Calvin

“If faith is a sure persuasion of the truth of God which can neither lie nor deceive us and be neither vain nor false, those who have conceived this certainty surely expect likewise that God will accomplish His promises which, according to their conviction, cannot but be true.

So that, in sum, hope is nothing else than the expectation of the things that faith has believed to be truly promised by God. Thus Faith believes God to be truthful: Hope expects that He will show His veracity at the opportune time.

Faith believes God to be our Father: Hope expects that He will always act as such toward us. Faith believes the eternal life to be given to us: Hope expects that it shall at some time be revealed. Faith is the foundation on which Hope rests: Hope nourishes and maintains faith.

For, just as no one can expect and hope anything from God, except he who will have first believed His promises, so, on the other hand, it is necessary that our feeble faith (lest it grow weary and fail) be sustained and kept by patient hope and expectation.”

–John Calvin, Instruction in Faith (1537) (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1977), 55.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Faith, Hope, Jesus Christ, John Calvin, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

6 responses to ““Hope” by John Calvin

  1. Does the cross stand as a symbol of hope for all people? Or only for some people?

    • The cross of Christ stands as a symbol of hope for all who trust in Christ. No faith, no hope. Like Calvin says in the quote, faith precedes hope: “no one can expect and hope anything from God, except he who will have first believed His promises.”

      • Thanks for the reply,

        Doesn’t Calvin also say that the only ones who can believe are the ones whom God chooses to believe?

        So does that mean, according to Calvin, that since the unconditonally rejected don’t have to ability to believe God’s promises to begin with, that the cross is really a sign of hopelessness instead of a sign of hope to them?

  2. Pastor Eugene, I’d be happy to discuss Calvin and unconditional election with you via email if you so choose.( nickroark @ gmail.com ) I am certainly no expert on either. But I am willing to serve you with what little I have.


    • Thanks for the offer, Nick, but I’ll pass. I just saw your post mention “hope” and I thought I would ask you what I did. I literally just thought about what the cross means as a sign of hopefulness/hopelessness a couple of days ago to the unconditionally elected and the unconditionally rejected.

      Btw, just for clarification, I’m no pastor, just a preacher :) Take care, Nick.

  3. Pingback: Finding Hope in the Holidays | Social Behavioral Patterns–How to Understand Culture and Behaviors

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